Martin Guitars: Expert Picks

For nearly two centuries, C.F. Martin & Co. has been crafting some of the finest instruments in the industry. One of the most highly regarded acoustic guitar brands in the world, Martin has made countless innovations in the industry that have truly altered the acoustic guitar world forever including X-bracing, a 14-fret design, and of course, the introduction of the most widely used acoustic guitar body size, the Dreadnought. Today, this iconic family-owned brand is still headed by the Martin family, with Christian F. Martin IV as the company’s current CEO and Chairman.

Throughout the years, Martin has never forgotten its roots, yet the company continues to adapt to the ever-changing industry, which I believe is what has made Martin one of the longest-standing, most successful guitar manufacturers across the globe. With that being said, Martin is still going strong and continues to hold its place as one of the world’s leading musical instrument manufacturers.

The models offered by Martin today really showcase the very best of Martin tradition and contemporary innovation, so for this article, our experts here at Sam Ash selected a handful of their favorite models that they feel sum up what modern-day Martin is all about.

Standard Series D-28
Starting at $2,629.00

Introduced over 80 years ago, the D-28 has been the choice instrument for countless guitar legends such as Bob Dylan, Hank Williams, and even the late, great Johnny Cash. For 2017, Martin has revamped this flagship Style 28, 14-Fret Dreadnought model while remaining true to Martin’s rich history. Giving today’s players the very best in tone, playability, and performance, today’s incarnation now incorporates forward-shifted bracing for enhanced top vibration along with Martin’s superbly playable High Performance neck taper. The D-28 still sports the classic rosewood/spruce tonewood combination to deliver that full-bodied sound that helped make the originals legendary, plus it boasts a selection of traditional-style appointments including open-gear tuners, aged top toner, antique white accents, and a faux tortoise pickguard.

  • Dreadnought Body with Solid East Indian Rosewood Back & Sides
  • Solid Sitka Spruce Top with Updated Forward Shifted Bracing for 2017
  • Updated High Performance Neck Taper for 2017
  • Vintage-Style Features and Appointments
  • Includes a Hardshell Case

LXK2 Little Martin
$329.00

Players from all walks of life have fallen in love with the Little Martin series of instruments, from beginners who want a smaller Martin-quality instrument to seasoned professionals who need a great grab-and-go guitar for traveling. There are a variety of models in this series, including the latest Ed Sheeran Signature guitar, but we found that a lot of players gravitate towards the LXK2 model. This travel-friendly model is as easy on the eyes as it is on the hands and the ears thanks to its beautiful koa high-pressure laminate (HPL) top, back, and sides! This little guy is will satisfy the needs of a wide range of acoustic players, so whether you’re a student searching for your first steel-string or a pro player looking for a small travel guitar signature Martin playability and tone, the LXK2 will fit the bill!

  • Small Dreadnought-Style Body with Koa HPL Top, Back, and Sides
  • Short-Scale Neck for an Easy Playing Experience
  • FSC Certified Richlite Fingerboard and Bridge
  • Includes a Soft Gig Bag for Easy Transport

15 Series 000-15M
$1,299.00

We absolutely adore this all-solid mahogany 000-14 Fret guitar from Martin! From its comfortable smaller body size/shape down to the warm, woody, and well-balanced voice it conveys, the 000-15M is a fantastic choice for players looking for an all-solid, all-mahogany guitar that’s a little easier on your wallet. It comes packed with premium features, including a cozy Modified Low Oval mahogany neck, East Indian rosewood fingerboard & bridge, a genuine bone nut & saddle, vintage-style open-gear tuners, traditional-style abalone fretboard inlays, and much more! For vintage vibes without the vintage price tag, look no further than the 000-15M. For added old-school vibes, you can also find other versions of this model such as the burst-finished 000-15M Burst or the 000-15M StreetMaster that boasts a distressed finish.

  • 000-14 Fret Body with Solid Mahogany Construction
  • Mahogany Neck with Modified Low Oval Profile
  • East Indian Rosewood Fingerboard & Bridge
  • Genuine Bone Nut and Saddle
  • Nickel Open-Gear Tuners, Old Style Headstock Logo, Traditional Abalone Inlays, and Faux Tortoise Pickguard
  • Full Smooth Satin Finish
  • Includes a Hardshell Case

Road Series DRS2
$829.00

If you’re looking for an all-solid wood Dreadnought that blends classic Martin style and tone with modern playability and onboard electronics at an amazing value, the DRS2 is an excellent choice. A fitting member to the Martin Road Series lineup, the DRS2 features a traditional 14-Fret Dreadnought body that’s crafted using a Sitka spruce top and sapele back & sides to deliver a warm, balanced voice with outstanding projection. The contemporary Performing Artist neck with Martin’s High Performance taper provides an incredible playing feel while Fishman Sonitone electronics make the DRS2 the ideal choice for gigging guitarists. If you like this guitar but crave even more tonal warmth, be sure to check out the all-solid sapele DRS1 model.

  • Dreadnought Body with Solid Sitka Spruce Top and Solid Sapele Back/Sides
  • Select Hardwood Performing Artist Neck with High Performance Taper
  • FSC® Certified Richlite Fingerboard and Bridge
  • Onboard Fishman Sonitone Electronics for Superb Amplified Tone
  • Includes a Hardshell Case

X Series DCX1RAE
$699.00

An affordable, Martin-quality guitar that merges classic design with contemporary updates, the DCX1RAE boasts a Dreadnought body made from a Sitka spruce top with rosewood patterned high-pressure laminate back & sides for that timeless Martin tone and power while a modern cutaway design allows for comfortable access to the upper registers. This X Series guitar also features a superbly playable Performing Artist neck with Martin’s High Performance taper, onboard Fishman sonitone electronics for plug-in-and-play flexibility, an FSC® Certified Richlite fretboard & bridge, chrome tuners, a traditional-style faux tortoise pickguard, and much more!

  • Dreadnought Cutaway Body with Sitka Spruce Top and Rosewood Patterned HPL Laminate Back/Sides
  • Performing Artist Neck with High Performance Taper
  • FSC® Certified Richlite Fingerboard and Bridge
  • Onboard Fishman Sonitone Electronics for Plug-in-and-Play Flexibility
  • Gig Bag or Hardshell Case Sold Separately

Although we only have 5 guitars listed here, Sam Ash carries a wide variety of Martin models that come in all different shapes, sizes, and price ranges. With our vast selection of Martin guitars, you can be sure that we have the perfect one for you! Need a little help? No problem! Live chat with our Martin experts today at SamAsh.com, or give them a call at 1-800-472-6274.

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